I then searched around online to see if anyone had any advice on how to figure out what size to cut fabric so that you are covering the shape you are trying to cover. My searches for the most part turned up empty. I guess I was looking for instructions would say something like cut "x" amount of squares/rectangles in whatever size. Isn't that what we normally get when we cut fabric for a pattern?
Recently, I was asked to help with a project that would require me to work on the paper pieced blocks. Sadly I had the most experience with paper piecing; or possibly they suckered me into doing them. Since the fabric I was using belonged to someone else I wanted to waste as little as possible or at least make sure I cut a big enough piece on the first whack. My solution was to cut squares and rectangles at least a 1/2 to 1/4 inch bigger than what I needed.
So for this particular piece I cut a rectangle that was 3.5 by 4 inches.
The next part that I found tricky was lining up the the pieces to make sure that I had them covering the magical sewing line. I would hold them up to the light make sure they were where they needed to be and somehow manage to have them move before I could get them to the machine and sew it. Have I mentioned how much I love paper piecing?
I finally came up with a solution to my problem.
By placing a straight pin at the end of the two lines, when I flipped the piece over I knew exactly where the line I needed to cover was.
Ta da! Then if I needed to I could fold the piece over and see if the space was covered. So far this method has worked for me. I always know where my line is.
My new blogger friend Ashley over at Crafty Ashley B shared a recent post from Crazy Mom Quilts on paper piecing with me. The post talks about using templates to ensure that you are cutting your pieces the correct sizes. Though it might take a bit more time, I think I could definitely cut down on wasted fabric using her method. The next time I have a paper piecing project I will absolutely give it a try.
If you have any paper piecing tricks please feel free to share them with me. I love my adventures in quilting and love to learn as much as I can.
Oh on a side note:
The pin idea was totally Oliver's. He just couldn't take me grumbling anymore.